First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 35

O Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight against me.
(Psalm 35:1, NLT)

So let’s get real.

I started this Psalm months ago.
And here I am, still, with the blog not finished and two weeks overdue.
It definitely seems like there has been some opposition to writing it.

First, I had the idea of addressing the Old Testament and how it’s filled with stories about Israel’s physical enemies and the New Testament with its shift in focus from physical enemies to fighting against spiritual enemies.

But as I struggled with it, I realized the blog was turning out dry, dusty and quite dull.

So then I spent some time digging around in scripture, found some great points, and thought I knew where I wanted to take it. However, it still wasn’t gelling.

Finally, demands and circumstances in life kept interfering with my writing time.

Opposition. It might not look like the opposition the Psalmist is talking about.
But it’s still very real.

The Lord has planned good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), small things, big things and everywhere in between. And as we seek to accomplish them, we are probably encountering road blocks, interruptions, and intrusions. He has also called us to love one another (John 13:34-35). And as we seek to accomplish this, we are probably encountering challenges, frustrations and disappointments.

For me, my work has been a dream of writing a book. Of writing books. Of books published with my name on them. Of others being impacted by the stories I have written.
I have spent the last three years reading, studying, and practicing the writing craft. The Lord has placed numerous story ideas in me and I long to tell them, pointing to His grace and His love. They rattle about my head, clamoring to be given life.

I immerse myself in my writing, planning my days around time to write, but I also try to find balance between my writing and the people the Lord has placed in my life. Yet, something comes and steals both the time and the effort. Something comes between me and my work and something threatens the relationships I have with others.

But what if?

What if, the real enemy is not a problem or person?  What if there is another enemy at work?  What if the New Testament is right and there is a battle going on we cannot see?

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

When we cry out for the Lord to fight those who fight against us, it’s important to remember where the real battle lies.

We have an enemy, Satan, the accuser, the ancient serpent, the devil, who is active in our world today (the evening news easily convinces me of this fact).  When we experience conflict with our work and with others, we would do well to remember to:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)

So then, what is our best weapon?

Prayer, of course.
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

The Psalmist cries out for the Lord to oppose those who oppose us.
As we engage in the battle, we are called to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). We are called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). We are to be aware of the enemies schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11).

And of course, as warriors, we need the right armor.

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.”
Ephesians 6:10-11 (NLT)

“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:14-17 (NLT)

Prayer
Father, You know the road blocks, interruptions, and intrusions, as well as the challenges, frustrations and disappointments I experience. Help me to remember who the real enemy is. Help me to be prepared for the battle and to be fighting the right battle.  
Lord, oppose him who opposes me and fight against him who fights against me.

Grace & Peace

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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